In the world of gaming, sports games have always held a special place; they have not only entertained millions of fans worldwide but have also managed to revolutionize the gaming industry as a whole. These games have come a long way, evolving from simple 2D renditions to immersive experiences that bring the thrill of the stadium right into our living rooms.
At the beginning of the '80s, the first sports computer games appeared. Kevin Toms wrote the first Football Manager in 1982 for the ZX Spectrum. International Soccer in 1983 was one of the first soccer games for the Commodore 64, while David Crane developed the iconic The Activision Decathlon for the Atari 2600, later ported to Commodore 64 and many other platforms. The same year, One-on-One created a fantastic basketball experience on the Apple II. Anyway, Epyx "Games" series was one of the biggest sports hits in the '80s, with Summer Games, Winter Games, California Games, and other titles.
In 1989, Kick Off for the Amiga changed football simulations forever, with its innovative top-down view and a ball not "glued" to the players. This inspired Sensible Soccer in 1992, the game that stole the throne to Kick Off 2 as the most played soccer game, at least until Sensible World of Soccer was released in 1994. The Manager changed the perspective in 1991 as a pure managerial game. In 1992, the famous Championship Manager was released. It was the first of a long series that continued for many years; see for example, Championship Manager 97/98.
But it's not all about football (aka soccer). Wayne Gretzky Hockey in 1988 was the first successful hockey sim, while Links: The Challenge of Golf in 1990 made golf a popular game on computers. John Madden Football in 1989 started a long series of (American) football sims, a series that is still alive today. Cinemaware introduced a new way to present sports games with the TV Sports series, started with TV Sports: Football in 1988 and continued with TV Sports: Basketball and TV Sports: Boxing.
If you like rugby, don't miss World Class Rugby and especially Jonah Lomu Rugby, while for tennis, you should not miss Center Court 2 for the Amiga. For sure many other great titles are missing in this overview. Just browse the titles below and have fun!